Michigan Sex Crime Lawyers
MICHIGAN SEX CRIME CHARGES
Michigan sex crime defense attorneys for Oakland County, Wayne County, Macomb County and Livingston County. Under Michigan law, the potential punishments for sex crimes can be truly devastating: long-term imprisonment, registration under the Michigan Sex Offender Registration Act and the stigma of being convicted of a sex crime. These type of charges require experienced legal representation, preferably from the beginning of the investigation. The attorneys at Jeffrey Buehner, PLLC are experienced criminal lawyers who have successfully defended clients charged with sex crimes throughout Metro Detroit and across the state of Michigan.
Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct Lawyer
If the police contact you to discuss any type of alleged sexual contact between you and another person, you need a criminal defense attorney representing you immediately. You have a Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and the police know that, so they are likely to approach you in the manner most likely to induce cooperation and to prevent you from invoking the Fifth. Expect something like: ‘You’re not under arrest. You’re free to go – we just want to get your version of events’ or ‘We want to get your side, so that we can close this file.’ Understand that no matter how understanding and open-minded the police may appear to you, you need to consult an attorney before saying anything at all to the police.
Your instinct, particularly if you don’t believe you’ve committed any type of crime, may be to cooperate with the police. That’s understandable, but it is also the wrong thing to do. The police are asking you these questions for a reason: somebody has alleged that you’ve engaged in some type of criminal activity. Don’t make any statement until you’ve talked with an experienced sex crimes attorney.
Won’t I Look Guilty If I Hire A CSC Defense Lawyer?
No, what makes you look guilty is the allegation made by the person who said you committed a crime. Understand this: the police already suspect (at the least) that you’ve committed a crime – that’s why they want to ask you questions. Hiring a lawyer makes you look like a person who has the intelligence enough not to be railroaded into incriminating themselves. The police understand that their investigation is going to be held to the highest legal standard and that your constitutional rights are going to be protected once you’ve hired a lawyer.
We have represented many people who hired us as soon as they were contacted by the police. Many of these people were able to avoid charges altogether because they hired us instead of talking to the police. Whether you are completely innocent or not, your statements to the police should only be made (if at all) after they’ve been vetted by an experienced sex crimes attorney. If, after thoroughly reviewing all of the facts with your attorney, it is decided that making a statement is in your best interest, then it can be made either through your attorney or with your attorney at your side.
An Experienced Michigan Sex Crime Defense Attorney
Whether you’ve already been charged, or you are under investigation, you need to be represented by an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Criminal sexual conduct is one of the most serious charges you can possibly face, but it is just an allegation. There is a vast difference between the probable cause needed to charge you with a crime and the ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ standard needed to convict you. Our office has long-standing relationships with top private investigators, expert witnesses and polygraph operators to help establish ‘reasonable doubt.’
Effectively defending sex crimes requires trial experience and advanced communication skills. Jeffrey Buehner has over 20 years of jury trial experience including multiple ‘not guilty’ verdicts for clients charged with sex crimes.
Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Degree
Under Michigan law, there are four degrees of criminal sexual conduct (“CSC”). The law is complex, so the following information is a very basic outline of the elements of the four degrees of criminal sexual conduct and their respective maximum terms of incarceration:
1st Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct: First Degree CSC is a felony punishable by up to life in prison. The elements of CSC 1 are:
Sexual penetration and one of the following:
- The victim is under 13;
- The victim is 14, 15 or 16 and one of the following:
- A member of the same household;
- Related by blood or affinity;
- Defendant is in position of authority over victim.
- Occurs during the commission of another felony;
- Defendant is aided by another person and one of the following:
- Victim is mentally incapable, mentally incapacitated and/or physically helpless;
- Defendant uses force or coercion;
- A weapon was involved;
- Force or coercion and personal injury;
- Personal injury and victim incapacity;
- Victim incapacity and one of the following:
- Related by blood or marriage;
- Defendant is in a position of authority over the victim;
2nd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct: Second degree CSC is a felony punishable by imprisonment for up to 15 years followed by lifetime electronic monitoring. The elements of CSC 2 are:
- Sexual contact and
- Any of the circumstances listed for 1st degree CSC.
3rd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct: Third degree CSC is a felony punishable by imprisonment for up to 15 years. The elements of CSC 3 are:
- Sexual penetration and one of the following circumstances:
- Victim 13, 14, or 15
- Force or coercion
- Victim incapacity
4th Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct: Fourth degree CSC is a high court misdemeanor punishable by up to 2 years in prison and a $500 fine. The elements of CSC 4 are:
- Sexual contact and one of the following circumstances:
- Force or coercion;
- Victim incapacity;
- Defendant is employed by department of corrections in which victim is incarcerated
Michigan Indecent Exposure Law
The charge of indecent exposure is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
Aggravated indecent exposure is also a misdemeanor, however, unlike most misdemeanor charges, aggravated indecent exposure can carry a prison term of up to 2 years. Moreover, aggravated indecent exposure has the same criminal procedure as a felony in that it has a preliminary examination in District Court and (if probable cause is shown) the case is bound over to Circuit Court rather than remain in District Court.
In addition to the criminal penalties, a person charged with indecent exposure must also be aware of the potential consequences that such a conviction could have upon their current and future employment and the potential for registration under the Michigan Sex Offender Registry.
Michigan’s Indecent Exposure Statute
(1) A person shall not knowingly make any open or indecent exposure of his or her person or of the person of another.
(2) A person who violates subsection (1) is guilty of a crime, as follows:
(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b) or (c), the person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or a fine of not more than $1,000.00, or both.
(b) If the person was fondling his or her genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or, if the person is female, breasts, while violating subsection (1), the person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 2 years or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both.
(c) If the person was at the time of the violation a sexually delinquent person, the violation is punishable by imprisonment for an indeterminate term, the minimum of which is 1 day and the maximum of which is life.
Other Michigan Sex Crimes
- Use of computer to solicit child
- Child sexually exploitive materials
- Assault with intent to commit sexual penetration
- Internet sex crimes.